Road To Recovery

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Photos by Joshua Palmer

Sitting inside a small yet cozy mobile home, Joshua Palmer sat and talked about what he experienced during the rough time of Hurricane Katrina.

Joshua Palmer has been a resident of Lacombe since 1989. He made his living as a crane operator and also an operator of heavy equipment. He owned several acres of land which included animals, such as chickens and horses. Palmer spent his time working, taking care of his land and most importantly taking care of his family. But that all changed on Aug. 23, 2005.

Joshua always kept in tune with the local news and media and when he found out about a tropical storm that was headed his way he was concerned. He never thought that it would be something that he could not handle, so he decided to not evacuate and to stay home ride out the storm. Little did he know what was to come.

As Hurricane Katrina slowly approached, Joshua took as many precautions as he could. He sent his daughter and girlfriend off to a local shelter and made sure his animals were taken care of. When the storm arrived, Joshua realized how severe it was and how it was to late to turn back.

“The water rushed in my house so fast it was unbelievable. Next thing I know my house had over six feet of water so I had no choice but to swim. So I swam to a neighbor whose house had been elevated, and I stayed there for the remainder of the storm.” 

Joshua stayed at the neighbors for about a week until the stormed passed. Although he knew what was going on and the damage Katrina had done, his mind was not mentally prepared for the aftermath. As things calmed down, he went back home to recovered what he could from his home.

“I wanted to cry when I took the first glance at my home, the home I built and raised my daughter in. It was gone, everything.” 

Joshua lost all but a few photographs, some kitchen utensils and some clothes.

Joshua was out of work for over a year and was never able to re-build his home so he now lives in a mobile home on his property. Even though he had to lose the materialistic things he worked so hard for, he was still able to have his family, his friends and his animals. His horses survived but unfortunately the smaller animals did not make it.

“I feel like God does everything for a reason and what I tell people is that you can’t have sunshine without a little rain.”



Photo by Victor Palmer (deceased)


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